America’s least communicative town could lose its status as the National Science Foundation considers mothballing a space observatory that currently means wireless signals are largely banned.
Because Green Bank in West Virginia is so near to the observatory (and a naval radio station), where instruments must be kept free of interference, it’s the main residential area in the National Radio Quiet Zone. Restrictions mean that over-the-air TV signals and cellphone reception is virtually non-existent, while all but the weakest Wi-Fi signals are banned. In some cases, residents are even warned to avoid using microwave ovens.
As well as being something of a novelty, the wireless free area has also attracted people who believe they suffer from a condition named electromagnetic hypersensitivity disorder. (Its existence and importance is far from widely accepted among the medical community.)
Now the National Science Foundation is running a 30 day public comment period on a range of options for the Green Bank Observatory’s Future. These range from continuing to operate as present to completely demolishing the site. Other possibilities include suspending operations, working with private organizations on future projects, or turning the area into a technology and education park.
Were the observatory to cease operations, it’s possible the wireless ban could be abandoned or revised. If officials decided the naval radio station still needed “radio quiet”, the zone might be narrowed such that it no longer covered the Green Bank community.
The post Wireless-Free Town’s Radio Silence Could End appeared first on Geeks are Sexy Technology News.